Liberty Letters, Samuel Adams, Apr. 10, 1773
Your Letter to me of the 4th Feb last, I receivd with singular Pleasure; not only because I had long wishd for a Correspondence with some Gentleman in Virginia, but more particularly because I had frequently heard of your Character and Merit, as a warm Advocate for Virtue and Liberty.
I have often thought it a Misfortune, or rather a Fault in the Friends of American Independence and Freedom, their not taking Care to open every Channel of Communication. The Colonies are all embarkd in the same bottom. The Liberties of all are alike invaded by the same haughty Power: The Conspirators against their common Rights have indeed exerted their brutal Force, or applied their insidious Arts, differently in the several Colonies, as they thought would best serve their Purpose of Oppression and Tyranny. How necessary then is it; that ALL should be early acquainted with the particular Circumstances of EACH, in Order that the Wisdom & Strength of the whole may be employd upon every proper Occasion. We have heard of Bloodshed & even civil War in our Sister Colony North Carolina; And how strange is it, that the best Intelligence we have had of that tragical Scene, has been brought to us from England!
This Province, and this Town especially, have sufferd a great Share of Ministerial Wrath and Insolence: But God be thanked, there is, I trust, a Spirit prevailing, which will never submit to Slavery. The Compliance of New York in making annual Provision for a military Force designed to carry Acts of Tyranny into Execution: The Timidity of some Colonies and the Silence of others is discouraging: But the active Vigilance, the manly Generosity and the Steady Perseverance of Virginia and South Carolina, gives us Reason to hope, that the Fire of true Patriotism will at length spread throughout the Continent; the Consequence of which must be the Acquisition of all we wish for.
The Friends of Liberty in this Town have lately made a successful Attempt to obtain the explicit political Sentiments of a great Number of the Towns in this Province; and the Number is daily increasing. The very Attempt was alarming to the Adversaries; and the happy Effects of it are mortifying to them. I would propose it for your Consideration, Whether the Establishment of Committees of Correspondence among the several Towns in every Colony, would not tend to promote that General Union, upon which the Security of the whole depends.
The Reception of the truly patriotick Resolves of the House of Burgesses of Virginia gladdens the Hearts of all who are Friends to Liberty. Our Committee of Correspondence had a special Meeting upon this Occasion, and determined immediately to circulate printed Copies in every Town in this Province, in order to make them as extensively useful as possible. I am desired by them to assure you of their Veneration for your most ancient Colony, and their unfeigned Esteem for the Gentlemen of your Committee. This indeed is a small Return; I hope you will have the hearty Concurence of every Assembly on the Continent. It is a Measure that I think must be attended with great and good Consequences.
Our General Assembly is dissolved; and Writs will soon be issued according to the Charter for a new Assembly to be held on the last Wednesday in May next. I think I may almost assure you that there will be a Return of such Members as will heartily cooperate with you in your spirited Measures.
The most enormous Stride in erecting what may properly be called a Court of Inquisition in America, is sufficient to excite Indignation even in the Breast the least capable of feeling. I am expecting an authentick Copy of that Commission, which I shall send to you by the first opportunity after I shall have receivd it. The Letter from the new Secretary of State to the Governor of Rhode Island, which possibly you may have seen in the News papers, may be depended upon as genuine. I receivd it from a Gentleman of the Council in that Colony, who took it from the Original. I wish the Assembly of that little Colony had acted with more firmness than they have done; but as the Court of Enquiry is adjournd, they may possibly have another Tryal.
I have a thousand things to say to you, but am prevented by Want of Time; having had but an hours Notice of this Vessels sailing. I cannot however conclude without assuring you, that a Letter from you as often as your Leisure will permit of it, will lay me under great Obligations.—-
I am in strict Truth
Your most humble servt
Source: Samuel Adams, 10 April 1773, Samuel Adams letter to Richard Henry Lee.
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